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Story Notes:
As some of you know, I've been on something of a hiatus recently due to exams etc. Though I was thrilled to be able to get back to writing at my leisure, I'm currently finding that neither of my longer fics are playing ball. Sulk. As a result, I started playing about with some scenelets and mini-plotbunnies that have been floating about in my head for a while, and this one just happened to be ready first. Hope you like it.
Nothing. Darkness. Sweet unconsciousness. Then a pinprick – a tiny spark of awareness. I am alive.

My mind stirs. Like a flower’s seed the pinprick grows and spreads its warmth, and by degrees I begin to feel. Memory follows, and happiness bleeds into my thoughts as visions play before me, visions of green plains and of stars like watchful eyes and of glowing twilight over mountain peaks dusted with snow – but it is not to last. I see war. I remember anger. I feel hate, and then only sadness is left. I am trapped. I am alone.

I long to return to the black of the not-knowing, but polygons of orange light begin to seep through the murk that surrounds me. Murmurs and rumblings filter down from above. I cannot see. My mouth is clotted with foulness; a bitter-tasting slime gags my throat; instinctively I try to spit, but I cannot. Nor can I breathe. Fear grips me like a demon as I realise I am trapped, bound by a slippery film so thick that even the panicked thrashing of my limbs does not damage it. I open my mouth to roar but the sound is choked.

More light. I turn my face towards it. The murk is clearing, and shadows move beyond my prison, their silhouettes outlined in a golden gloam. Something pokes at me. And again. I growl. It hurts. I do not wish to be disturbed; I only wish to return to the place I remember, the place of beauty that my mind sees as clearly as though it still existed, as though it had not been torn and rent and ruined by darkness and war. Or else I wish to die. I wish for the not-knowing. I wish for the comfort of darkness and forgetfulness and eternal sleep.

Again the thing jabs at me, and again I growl – and now it is pawing at me too, or rather at the film that cocoons me. It is trying to free me – but I do not wish to be freed. I struggle but I am still held by the slime. My helplessness angers me; I feel resentment coursing through my blood and building in my chest like an army massing for war. I see him now, my tormentor; the film is thinning and weakening as life calls me upwards. He is small, shrivelled and pitifully thin. Insolent cretin! I rear up and roar, no longer choked, and I feel a heady rush of pride at the sound that erupts from me. Ah, it is well that I did not die! I am powerful! I am strong! I am of the fighting Uruk-hai!

I know not what impulse guides my hand to my tormentor’s neck. I could not say why I tighten my grip so that his airway is crushed, nor why it pleases me to see the sickly green pigment of his face fade to a greyish pallor. When he is dead I discard him and examine my hand in awe – and then I am aware that others are watching me. There is another verminous wretch like the one I just killed, and a man. No. Not a man. Something more – far more.

I straighten and face him. He is tall, as tall as I. Silver hair frames a hard face with eyes of metallic grey. I look into those eyes for an instant, yet even I, one of the fighting Uruk-hai, strong and fearless, cannot hold his gaze. There was wisdom there once, I perceive, but it has given way to something darker and more deadly. Yet still his terrible power lingers.

He speaks.

“Whom do you serve?”

Somehow I know what I must say, but I cannot yet utter it. Part of me rebels, the same part of me that remembers the beautiful world before the war came. Once again the visions torment me, and this time I hear a song, a voice keening in lament for the loss of a land so fair. He hears it too. I feel him, exploring my mind by means I cannot hope to understand, and then comes an awful wrenching and I remember no more. I almost buckle with the pain of it, but I must not show weakness. I am of the fighting Uruk-hai.

A sense of loss creeps through my body. I stumble around my own mind, searching, though for what I do not know. I find only blackness. Anger suffuses me. I have been robbed! My hand throbs with its longing to crush my enemy in the way I crushed his pet, but I find that I cannot move against him. He is inside me once more. I feel him connect with my anger, caress it, re-direct it.

Halflings. Elves. Men. They will suffer.

Yes. Yes.

Whom do you serve?

Still an aching sadness pervades my mind. I wish I knew what I had lost.

WHOM DO YOU SERVE?

I know what I must say. I do not have a choice.

“Saruman.”
Chapter End Notes:
As you've probably worked out, this was based on a scene from the film of Fellowship, though I took a few liberties with the screenplay.

Hope you enjoyed it - thank you so much for reading, I'd love to hear what you think!
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